The University of California
The University of California system is the largest and most prestigious of the public (state-funded) academic institutions in the United States. It encompasses ten primary campuses (one of which, UC San Francisco, is a graduate school of medicine and thus not listed here) situated in various locations around the state of California – from UC Davis, in the wine country north of San Francisco, to UC San Diego, near the Mexican border. All offer excellent teaching and facilities, but differ according to the kinds of academic and extracurricular experiences they provide. Although the UC system cannot guarantee your choice of campus for the exchange year, it pays to familiarise yourself with the nine campuses listed at right and to consult the course offerings of the English Departments at each. When listing your choice of campuses, be aware that UC Berkeley is the destination of choice for the majority of overseas visitors and hence is more likely to be oversubscribed; you may want to give serious consideration to other campuses such as Irvine (renowned for its cutting-edge research and highly recommended if you are taking English and Creative Writing), Santa Cruz (a world-famous campus design located on the coast, and among the most innovative in its programmes of study), Davis (the only 'college-town' campus, priding itself on close student-faculty contact), or Santa Barbara (sited on the coast north of Los Angeles) as well as to urban campuses such as UCLA and UC San Diego.